William Shatner Blasts Critics, Defends Absence From Leonard Nimoy’s Funeral

Captain Kirk of “Star Trek” says “I chose to honor a commitment I made months ago to appear at a charitable fundraiser”

Last Updated: March 1, 2015 @ 8:05 PM

William Shatner defended his decision to skip Leonard Nimoy‘s funeral Sunday on Twitter, after it became a front-page headline in a New York tabloid.

The New York Daily News anointed Shatner “Captain Jerk” on its cover for claiming he could not “beam up” in time for the gathering. In response, Shatner shared the image of the paper’s cover and invited people to “discuss it.”

“I chose to honor a commitment I made months ago to appear at a charitable fundraiser. A lot of money was raised. So here I am; tell me off.”

Nimoy died Friday at 83. He was best known for his portrayal of “Star Trek’s” logic-driven, half-human science officer Spock, an ally and foil to Shatner’s earnest Captain Kirk.

Shatner explained in a series of tweets Saturday that he was in Florida for a Red Cross charity event and could not make it to Los Angeles in time for Sunday’s service. His daughters will represent the family, he said.

On Sunday, Shatner questioned some of his detractors who took issue with him not attending his former co-star’s funeral.

“Walking out on a major fundraiser wouldn’t have you calling me a jerk for leaving a charity high & dry? Hmm?” he said.

The TV legend then invited fans to join him for a Twitter Q&A about Nimoy. Many comments were positive, noting that “mourning is personal,” while others ripped him.

“Unable to Attend Leonard Nimoy‘s Funeral. Priceline? Do Red Cross event and then private jet to LA,” New York radio host Todd Schnitt chided Shatner in a tweet.

Shanter fired back: “So has Mr. Moneybags @toddschnitt made his donation yet to the @RedCross? A jet from FL to LA is about $30K in the name of #LeonardNimoy pls.”

The star followed that up with “WOR710 should be ashamed of having @toddschnitt as an employee.”

Shatner quibbled with Louisville Courier-Journal reporter Charlie White and the Daily News’ headline, as well.

“You know what I find puzzling,” he tweeted. “The headline is horrible but the article contradicts it.”

In the end, Shatner put a positive light on the debate over missing the funeral.

“I do want to thank everyone for coming here and sharing their memories and celebrating the life of Leonard Nimoy,” he wrote, before closing with “LLAP!”

The initials were a reference to the catch phrase of Nimoy’s Spock character: “Live Long And Prosper!”

Here are some of Shatner’s choice tweets.